Published Fri, Feb 24, 2012 4:41 am Dateline
Updated Fri, Feb 24, 2012 12:33 pm
Chauncey Elementary School will close its doors at the end of the school year.
The Athens City School Board voted unanimously last night to close the school as a way to reduce its budget deficit.
Nearly 75 people filled the Athens High School auditorium to speak out about the closing of the school.
Those who stepped up to the podium cited the more the 150 children that will be displaced, as well as accusing the board of "failing" Chauncey Elementary children.
One of those who spoke was Chauncey resident Autumn Baichovsky.
She has three children who previously attended Chauncey Elementary, one son who is in sixth grade at the school, and a daughter in preschool.
Baichovsky says she's worried about what will happen now that her son and daughter have to attend The Plains Elementary.
"Those two schools, they are amazing educations the children get, but they are not meeting the requirements for the state/ And they haven't addressed those issues and how combining those two schools is going to help. That's something that we as a community and we as parents are very concerned about," says Baichovsky.
Despite the board's vote, Baichovsky says this isn't the end of the road for the fight.
"We're not done. We're gonna hold them accountable for our children's education and we'll move forward with a plan of action to make sure that our kids are educated and that they're not forgotten by the district," says Baichovsky.
School board president Chris Gerig says he's sympathetic to the arguments that were raised for saving Chauncey, but doesn't see a better way to save money at this time.
The district is facing an estimated $12 million shortfall by 2016 due to state funding reductions and a decline in enrollment.